Welcome to Syd Barrett's fractured little world. Kicked out of Pink Floyd because of unstable mind, he dissapeared from the music scene for a couple of years. Then he returned, stripping down his sound, turning from experimental psychedelia to a sort of acid folk and went into the studio, helped by his former bandmates and the Soft Machine.
The Madcap Laughs is the result. The first (and best) of Syd's two whole studio albums.
There's not a bad track on it. There's "Terrapin" with it's hypnotic drift. There's "Love You" with its poppy melody, chirpy piano and verbal diorrhea lyrics. There's emotional moments like "Dark Globe" and "Late Night", which Syd would never have tried on Piper at the Gates of Dawn. There's guitar fuzz on "No Man's Land". "There's No Good Trying", a loud piece of psychedelia with great drum work, "Here I Go" is Syd's reaction to being kicked out of the Floyd, "Golden Hair" is poetry in motion (literally), "Long Gone" could have sat well on a Pink Floyd album, with its wailing choruses and organ. Even the out of tune "If It's In You" is loveable. It's so bad it's good. You can hear what he's trying to do and how he's doing his best. It shows how difficult it was to record Syd, given his delicate mental state.
This is a journey. A journey inside the mind of a broken mind. Syd Barrett is still whimsical, he's still kind, he's still humourous. He's just a little hurt and a little confused here. Creatively, he's as good as he was on "Piper at the Gates of Dawn", if not better.
I recommend this album to Pink Floyd fans, and those looking to try something out of the ordinary. If you are a music fan who likes every note played perfect, every word on key, an even tempo and polished production, you'd better leave this record alone. It's ragged. Deliciously ragged!